Again with my mommy side-kick Pentony O'Hagan, we took a look at The Top 10 Pregnancy Exercise Myths and dug a little deeper into areas where many moms and professionals are still confused. We hope this video helps you out. This blog follows on from our previous collaboration on Crossfit Adaptations During Pregnancy (during the 2nd Trimester) which you can find here. A great read and video especially if you are involved in resistance work with Pregnant women.
So, in no particular order, here are The Top 10 Pregnancy Exercise Myths + 1 more on Supine Hypotensive Syndrome which I forgot at the time of writing.....
1. No 'Developmental' Stretching in Pregnancy - check out this video blog to see the Burrell Education stance on 'flexibility' training during Pregnancy.....if you're bored of fearful prescription, you'll love this!
2. No squatting in Pregnancy
3. No working with arms overhead in Pregnancy.
4. No working with heart rate over 140 BPM in Pregnancy.
5. No running or impact work during Pregnancy.
6. Judging 'Rate of Perceived Exertion' via Breathlessness and Sweating Alone....
7. No HIIT or Interval Training during Pregnancy.
8. No lifting heavy weights during Pregnancy.
9. No sit-ups during Pregnancy.
10. You need to give up your 'athlete' status during Pregnancy.
11. No lying on your back after 16-20 weeks gestation - so, the issue here is Supine Hypotensive Syndrome - Aortocaval Compression that occurs when some Pregnant women lie on their back from the second Trimester onwards, resulting in a reduction of blood pressure, change in heart rate and the potential for passing out/fainting for the mother.
So let's turn a functional eye to this and pose the question that if your offering is billed as a FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE SESSION as opposed to a purely birth-prepartion style offering or Yoga/Pilates or any other of the disciplines where supine work occurs frequently....exactly how much time do you think you will REALLY be spending with your clients lying on their backs? And how FUNCTIONAL is this work if your remit is preparation for Mommmy Activities of Daily Life as opposed to birth preparation? The other question that also is often omitted (instructor to Pregnant woman) is "Do you ever sleep on your back or wake from sleeping on your back"? How do you feel when this happens. If the client says FINE, which actually is the case for many women, then you're probably safe to do some LIMITED work with the client on her back, either flat or in an elevated position (see pic below).
Most recently in the UK, the Tommy's ran their 'Sleep on Your Side' campaign based on more recent research regarding stillbirths and maternal positioning that encourages moms to sleep on their sides especially in the 3rd Trimester but even this campaign stresses that it's aim is not to stress moms, and that should they end up on other positions throughout the night, not to panic! If the client's response is negative, then I think it would just be common sense/good practice to omit the supine work from your programming. There are very few supine exercises that don't have a vertical equivalent. Ultimately, I think the trick is to actually ask the client rather than assuming that she will suddenly faint/pass-out/the sky will fall in if positioned in supine after 16+ weeks gestation ;-). #lessfearmorefunction!